• Athena
    1.9k
    I am wondering how the discussion would go if we thought the Creator manifested our reality by giving chaos order and that human activity can either maintain that order or destroy it? What if we recognized chaos as the evil that threatens us and felt responsible for causing that chaos and also for restoring order?

    Zoroastrianism may be the first ecological religion, but that religion is not the only belief system to think the purpose of humans is to help the river stay in its banks (Sumerian). Native Americans also sort to live in harmony with nature.

    I think Zeus's concern, that with the technology of fire we would discover all technologies and then rival with the gods, forgetting the wisdom of the gods and thinking ourselves the ultimate power and destroying nature to satisfy ourselves, was a justified concern. We have confused technology with science and now have technological smarts but not wisdom.
  • schopenhauer1
    6.4k
    I think Zeus's concern, that with the technology of fire we would discover all technologies and then rival with the gods, forgetting the wisdom of the gods and thinking ourselves the ultimate power and destroying nature to satisfy ourselves, was a justified concern. We have confused technology with science and now have technological smarts but not wisdom.Athena

    Yes, but no one's going to give up the technology once they have it. You can prevent future humans from living through what you are describing though. Simply don't procreate them. Easier thing to give up and pretty darn easy these days. Procreation for most (especially who have the most technology and fund it) can be prevented.
  • Agent Smith
    1.2k
    There's something fundamentally wrong about so-called order and attempts to impose it on the world. It's, well, unnatural and any man-made order is going to meet fierce resistance from the way things are, inherently chaotic. I say work within the system, learn to use chaos, send a friend request to bedlam & mayhem.
  • Raymond
    649
    What if we recognized chaos as the evil that threatens us and felt responsible for causing that chaos and also for restoring order?Athena

    Isn't the evil exactly the opposite? Isn't it the order imposed on nature by human activity that threatens the creation of our Creator, praise His Name! Isn't the natural order in danger by the efforts of modern-day men (women are in the minority, so is my impression) to control nature and recreate it to fit our knowledge about it and make it as predictable as possible? Isn't this the cause for chaos in the natural order? If we would recognize that artificial order is the cause of the chaos in nature, or reduction of natural order at least, shouldn't we blame Muses? Was Muses rejected by Zeus, after which she took revenge by imposing her will on humanity? Can we undo her influence?
  • pfirefry
    36
    One could argue that technology is the vehicle for creating order from chaos. Think how much order is requires for the Internet to exist, and for us to be able to access the Internet from devices that fit in our hands. By the definition in the OP, technology is the absolute good.

    However, there is a flip side. Scientists agree that entropy continually grows in the universe over time. How can order emerge in a universe that becomes more chaotic every moment? In the book A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking explains that maintaining order over time requires a lot of energy by itself. Energy transforms into heat, thus making the universe more chaotic when order emerges. This is one of the reasons that we link technology with global warming.

    In other words, more order causes even more chaos.
  • 180 Proof
    7k
    :up: Well, Eve & Prometheus, Enkidu & Sisyphus, Prospero, et al belong in my "Sapere aude" pantheon of wise fools ...
    And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” ... — Genesis 3:11, NKJ
    Then "The Lord" compounded our precocious folly by condemning us to mortal lives that are "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" by barring our way from the "Tree of Life" and thereby ensuring we could not live long enough to attain the wisdom required by "forbidden" knowledge. Think of how much wiser it would have been to have barred "Adam & Eve" from the "Tree of Knowledge" instead. Our "Fall" (foolishness) is/was imago dei, no?
  • Tobias
    429
    I think Zeus's concern, that with the technology of fire we would discover all technologies and then rival with the gods, forgetting the wisdom of the gods and thinking ourselves the ultimate power and destroying nature to satisfy ourselves, was a justified concern. We have confused technology with science and now have technological smarts but not wisdom.Athena

    What you describe is I think currently being developed. It has always been there in Western thought actually but it has not always been dominant. Schwarz and Thompson, two economists and sociologists define it as an 'egalitarian perspective', Sociologist Aaron Wildavsky defines it as a perspective of harmony. Traditional enlightnement values, values we still live with today proritize control of nature through technological means and progress through economic an cultural development.

    The harmony perspective on the other hand is the one embraced by ecology. The sociologist and ecologist Anna Bramwell calls much of ecological reasoning and environmentalism 'manichean', presenting a battle between good nature and evil techno-science. Much of philosophy now is busy transllating philosophical ideas to the realm of the environment and to our relationship between man and nature. Martin Heidegger's essay on technology is an early example. Then came Hans Jonas 'The principle of responsibility'.

    You might want to delve in ecological thought for answers to your question. I do think currently that we gradually see a shift in perspective, from individualist to egalitarian. However, do not have many illusions about this shift, like every revolution there will be a lot of struggle. Ecology is not necessary friendly to your enlightenment values and your love for democracy.
  • Raymond
    649
    Koyaanisquatsi-life out of balance. The Hopi saying is the title of the first out of a trilogy, criticizing the western way. Not as inherently wrong, but as disturbing the natural order. Captive imagery, showing the beauty of nature, which is overtaken by images of the craziness of the western way and its damaging influence. The music by Philip Glass fits the images perfectly.
  • jgill
    1.7k
    I am wondering how the discussion would go if we thought the Creator manifested our reality by giving chaos order and that human activity can either maintain that order or destroy it?Athena

    If you speak of chaotic systems, then chaotic theory searches for underlying patterns and deterministic formulae that depend upon initial conditions in a very sensitive manner, so that iteration leads to what is generally thought of as chaos. Are you saying the Creator made all chaos deterministic at the beginning of time?

    To destroy that order would mean human activity could somehow alter these initial conditions, traveling back in time.

    In general meteorology is far too complicated to involve such deterministic systems. Ecosystems lie on what is referred as the "edge of chaos".

    I suspect you meant to trigger dialogue in a much less sophisticated scenario. Initial conditions being in play at the present time, such as global temperatures rising at a rate determined by conditions prevailing minus humankind, then humans messing that up with fossil fuels.
  • Agent Smith
    1.2k
    Mathematical chaos is a misnomer. In math, it simply means that a purported "chaotic" system diverges wildly even when the changes made to initial conditions are/seem negligibly small.

    There's a paradox in there. There was this member who started a thread on, if I recall correctly, how a small insect like a mosquito could be such a big threat. Obviously, the member is getting mixed up between size (initial conditions) and impact (final outcome).

    A difference of 0.0000018 (in initial conditions) is actually not small (the final outcomes vary greatly). It depends on where your focus is. Chaos theory is BS! :grin:
  • Jack Cummins
    3.8k

    I am not sure if this relates to your topic but some people believe that the current climate change and some other problems are the vengeance of God. The Old Testament shows that God has a wrathful anger as well as having the loving and forgiving aspects represented by the figure of Jesus.
  • john27
    661
    We have confused technology with science and now have technological smarts but not wisdom.Athena

    I suppose Prometheus gave man fire to watch the world burn, but prefer to think it was because he saw that man was cold.
  • john27
    661
    I think this absence of wisdom is only temporary; after all technology grows exponentially, Can't really compare the two.
  • god must be atheist
    3.8k
    Prometheus gave man fire to watch the world burnjohn27

    You say that he wanted the fireplace to keep every home warm. That's very nice.

    I don't have a family. I used to think he stole the fire to show the gods who really was the boss. The little, weak, fragile man, a mere mortal, but cunning as hell and brazen as a house-fly.

    Now that I have love in my life, I think he stole the fire to keep his love in comfort -- no effort spared.
  • john27
    661
    Now that I have love in my life, I think he stole the fire to keep his love in comfort -- no effort spared.god must be atheist

    If only I could learn to do the same... All in due time I guess. Or hope so, anyway.
  • Raymond
    649
    The chaos mentioned by the OP has nothing to do with the chaos as is seen in physics. It is the chaos as comes about if we construct a physical order within the natural order. This construction of order is paramount to the reduction of order in nature. Which means that chaos in nature will appear. If the natural balance is disturbed, species will be wiped from the surface of the Earth, water will rise, fire and storms will rage, soil polluted, and life will be wiped out all together in the end. People have short term brains. Gain in a short period of time is preferred to long term thinking. Material heaven today, hell on Earth tomorrow. God would turn around in his grave...

    If we don't want birds to fall from the sky, seas to devour, superstorms to rage, sweet water to taste bitter, unworldly screaming to be heard from within, the last trees to burn, the dark to enter daylight, and the light to ruin the night, the pace must be lowered this very moment. It will be too late tomorrow. Zeus' creation from Kaos will return to the Kaos it came from prematurely. Zeus won't give a damn. He will only laugh he created such stupidity and try again.
  • PoeticUniverse
    1.3k
    It will be too late tomorrow.Raymond

    Yes, but it's hard to stop the doomsday glacier from melting in the next few years and raising the sea level ten feet, which amount surprised me. A Yellowstone eruption is 30,000 years overdue, also hard to stop. Locally, in New York, we had a second Indian summer in December.
  • PoeticUniverse
    1.3k
    I am not sure if this relates to your topic but some people believe that the current climate change and some other problems are the vengeance of God. The Old Testament shows that God has a wrathful anger as well as having the loving and forgiving aspects represented by the figure of Jesus.Jack Cummins

    Another problem with the 'God' supposition is that, say, He could stop the virus, extinctions, and so forth, but He doesn't and never did; so, this isn't really a "hands off' approach absolving Him, but an intention of letting disasters happen, and thus responsible for them. With a friend like 'God', one doesn't need enemies.
  • Raymond
    649


    Will the sea rise 10 feet because of that glacier (on antarctica, I guess?). I heard it is "only" 65 cm. We can calculate it!
  • god must be atheist
    3.8k
    If only I could learn to do the same... All in due time I guess. Or hope so, anyway.john27

    Courage, Brother. Or Sister. Or someone on any point on the spectrum.

    Remember three things:

    The student appears when the teacher is ready.
    Love is not learned, but a mental state based mainly on illusions and wishful thinking.
    True love presents when the wishes and illusions fit truly or by imagination another person in one's life to an acceptable degree and vice versa.

    -------

    This was a rather unromantic lesson on the science of romance. Remember: romance, i.e. love, is not a science, but an art, an intuitive, emotional and social process.

    -------
    Sorry about pontificating and over-pontificating. YOU STARTED IT!!! / :-) and I am very glad you did.
  • god must be atheist
    3.8k
    If only I could learn to do the same... All in due time I guess. Or hope so, anyway.john27

    I so totally misunderstood you when I formulated my sermon.


    Could it be, that your wish is not to find love, but to turn to be a giver, provider and protector?

    Am not saying anything more until I get confirmation on this latter set of assumptions. I don't want to over analyze your situation again, for the second time, in a vein that needs not at all to be explained.
  • jgill
    1.7k
    Chaos theory is BS! :grin:Agent Smith

    Quite possibly. I prefer interesting quasi-symmetric patterns emerging from dynamical systems.

    If we don't want birds to fall from the sky, seas to devour, superstorms to rage, sweet water to taste bitter, unworldly screaming to be heard from within, the last trees to burn, the dark to enter daylight, and the light to ruin the night, the pace must be lowered this very moment. It will be too late tomorrow.Raymond

    Truly Biblical! I'm speechless. :scream:
  • Agent Smith
    1.2k
    Quite possibly. I prefer interesting quasi-symmetric patterns emerging from dynamical systems.jgill

    One thing's for sure, the brains of humanity (mathematicians) equate complex deterministic systems with chaos. They shouldn't do that, it misleads lay folk like us. Edward Lorenz drank one too many cupsa coffee that morning when he named this subfield of math.

    Can't blame mathematicians though. Who doesn't like a catchy name for your line of work? Is it like this all the time and everywhere? All sizzle, no steak!?
  • john27
    661
    Could it be, that your wish is not to find love, but to turn to be a giver, provider and protector?god must be atheist

    Yes! Well, more precisely, you were correct on both terms. I wish I could learn how to love, so I could be all these things.
  • Tobias
    429
    If we don't want birds to fall from the sky, seas to devour, superstorms to rage, sweet water to taste bitter, unworldly screaming to be heard from within, the last trees to burn, the dark to enter daylight, and the light to ruin the night, the pace must be lowered this very moment. It will be too late tomorrow. Zeus' creation from Kaos will return to the Kaos it came from prematurely. Zeus won't give a damn. He will only laugh he created such stupidity and try again.Raymond

    Oh dear. Did anybody else notice how the descriptions of environmental degradation mirror the descriptions of the biblical plagues from the deluge, to the fall of Sodom to the apocalypse? If only we turn away and repent... there will need to be a vanguard of the truthful, the spirited to guide us from our wicked ways and we might still be spared. This type of environmentalism is modern day soteriology.

  • john27
    661
    This type of environmentalism is modern day soteriology.Tobias

    I think people think that fear has a get-your-but-in-gear effect, but really for me it just makes me paralyzed. I need some positivity if i'm ever gonna do anything,
  • Tobias
    429


    Well, what kind of positivity do you need? I think the ecological shift brings great possibilities and threats. One of the questions I am grappling with is the question whether ecological thinking can provide new ideals that can give us a unified sense of purpose. To me ecology is metaphysics, 'deus sive natura', but not thought from God as the main point of departure, but nature, natura sive deus. Ecological awareness may well lead to a new kind of relationship between man and his surroundings, much like Athena describes in the OP and present in the thought of indigenous peoples. They are all the rage nowadays in academia. So it might well lead to a more kind world, hopefully.

    What I am suspicious of is using the old Crhistian or Manichean tropes to think of this relations. It is all fire and brimstone, war, and if we are lucky, mercy by a force which we cannot tame. These types of thought are cause of all this mishap, not the answer I think.
  • Hermeticus
    164
    There are of course those, that believe these ancient texts and stories hold a prophetic vision. In a way, they might - if only recognizing the nature of humanity and the driving factors that lead to the downfall of a civilization.

    Because the fact is many a civilization has collapsed before us. Of course it doesn't look like much to us because over the course of a few thousand years it does look like humanity is doing perfectly fine - when in reality, every lifetime somewhere there is a society on the brink of collapse.

    And often the reasons for those falls of empires are the same. There is the inevitable, gods wrath in the form of natural catastrophes. But then there is also man, giving in to sins. The seven deadly sins as a popculture trope might be overused - but I think they very well capture the driving forces that cause problems in a society. If enough people give into living their life like that, as virtue gets lost, it encourages more people towards a selfish nature. The outcome likely is as inevitable as the natural catastrophe: Without coorperation, a society of many can not operate and will fail.

    The "exciting" thing about our current "empire" is that it's never been this big before. It spans all over the world, entailing billions of people more or less participating in it. It might seem almost too big to fail - but in how interdependent and connected it all is our scientific society, like the Tower of Babel, might collapse too, as we reach for the heights of god.
  • john27
    661
    Well, what kind of positivity do you need? I think the ecological shift brings great possibilities and threats. One of the questions I am grappling with is the question whether ecological thinking can provide new ideals that can give us a unified sense of purpose. To me ecology is metaphysics, 'deus sive natura', but not thought from God as the main point of departure, but nature, natura sive deus.Tobias

    I'm more after a humanistic positivity, something that stems from ourselves, something we can relate to. Kind of like an atheist dream: to live efficiently and well, even if there is no purpose.
  • Tobias
    429
    I'm more after a humanistic positivity, something that stems from ourselves, something we can relate to. Kind of like an atheist dream: to live efficiently and well, even if there is no purpose.john27

    Yes, but is that not what environmentalism might offer? If you are after a rejuvenation of the enlightenment spirit of progres, then I think you are fighting the rear guard battle as we say in the Netherlands. It is twilight of the enlightened idols my friend.
  • john27
    661
    Yes, but is that not what environmentalism might offer?Tobias

    I guess it could.
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